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New Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence expands gas turbine research

The Ohio State University is accelerating its investigation of jet engines and gas turbines, thanks to a collaboration with aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. A multi-year agreement will establish the Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence in the Gas Turbine Laboratory, located at Ohio State's Aerospace Research Center.

Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence kick-off meetingAt Aerospace Research Center's Large Spin Pit Facility, (left to right, back row from Pratt & Whitney) Drew Lancaster, Haiyun Li, John Virtue, Graham Philbrick, Agnieszka Wusatowska-Sarnek, Tom Kasprow, Andrew Boyne, John DiTomasso and Samuel Slingluff with (front row from Ohio State) Mike Dunn, Randy Mathison, Aditya Kulkarni and Kiran D'Souza

The center’s activities will begin with the development of an innovative high-temperature rig in which turbine engine blade tip rub experiments can be conducted. Turbine blades operate within a structured casing in the engine—required minimal clearance between the two poses a risk for the blade’s tip rubbing on the casing, resulting in potential performance degradation or even system failure.

“Ohio State’s Gas Turbine Lab has a great deal of expertise in blade tip rub research,” said Kiran D’Souza, assistant professor and principal investigator of the center. “We’re proud to partner with Pratt & Whitney to investigate solutions to this industry-wide issue.”

Assistant Professor Randy Mathison, co-principal investigator, further described the center’s research initiatives. “The goal of the center is to develop a better understanding of blade tip rub dynamics and material characterization at design-speed and engine-relevant temperatures.”

Professor Emeritus Mike Dunn, also a co-principal investigator with the center, brings over 50 years of gas turbine expertise to the research initiatives.

The new center joins the department’s Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence in Gearbox Technology, housed in the Gear and Power Transmission Research Laboratory.